Morning business round-up: Hope and fear on markets


What made the business news and moved the markets in Asia and Europe this morning? Here's our daily business round-up:

Financial markets were responding with concern and hope to the two major issues of the day: Libya and Japan.

The oil price jumped in response to military action in Libya amid concern of an escalation of tensions in the region.

But stock markets in Europe rallied after Japan said that it is making progress in its battle to control radiation leaks at a nuclear plant.

Even so, the World Bank underlined the scale of Japan's challenge, saying that it could take the country five years to recover from a disaster that has caused up to $235bn worth of damage.

An indication of the cost of the disaster for insurers was disclosed when Swiss Re said that its exposure could be around $1.2bn.

Meanwhile, problems between Google and China have resurfaced, with the internet giant blaming Beijing for disrupting its email service.

Investors cheered Deutsche Telecom's sale of T-Mobile USA to AT&T for $39bn. Shares in the German giant rose as much as 16.3%.

Media caption,
Biz Heads

In the UK, Ofgem, the body that regulates the energy industry, has told companies to simplify their pricing structures because customers are

One of the world's most followed investors, Warren Buffett, has indicated where he is looking to make some money. The Sage of Omaha said he was that he is on the prowl for deals in Asia.

In the Netherlands they are looking closer to home to raise funds. BBC correspondent Anna Holligan writes about how the Dutch government is venturing into Amsterdam's red light district to tax the oldest profession.

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